About The Karoo in South Africa

About The Karoo

The Karoo includes the Klein Karoo (Little Karoo), which is a valley that is flanked by the Swartberg Mountains and the Langeberg Mountains, and the Groot Karoo (Great Karoo). This part of South Africa has a hauntingly beautiful look and feel, despite being semi-arid and naturally harsher than the lush conditions of the coastline.

The vegetation comprises stunning succulents and hardy shrubs, which lure many different birds and animals to call this their home. Agriculture is a very important mainstay of the Karoo population, and many of the farms breed ostriches for their feathers, meat and leather. In addition, the Karoo produces fantastic wines and ports, thanks to the vineyards that thrive in these weather conditions. Visiting the wine farms and enjoying tastings is one of the finest ways to experience true South African culture and hospitality.

The well-known towns of the Karoo include Calitzdorp, Montagu, Herold, Ladismith, Beaufort West, and Barrydale. These combine history and culture with warm, friendly folk. During your time in the Karoo, you should explore the following popular attractions:

The Cango Caves

These have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and have an impressive underground span of two kilometres. They boast incredible stalactite and stalagmite formations, which have been enhanced by the use of colourful and innovative lighting. Tours through the cave are both interesting and exciting for young and old alike.


Every year, the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees celebrates the arts, crafts and musical talent of South Africans. The many art forms are showcased here, giving locals and international visitors the opportunity to be a part of just some of what defines this Rainbow Nation.

Nature reserves

There is a host of fantastic nature reserves within the Karoo, each with its own unique appeal. These include the Anysberg Nature Reserve, Aquila Game Reserve, Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, Gamkapoort Nature Reserve, Kammanassie Nature Reserve, Swartberg Nature Reserve Towerkop Nature Reserve, and Karoo National Park.

Ostrich riding

Riding the largest bird in the world is great fun and an absolute must for first-timers to the Karoo. This can be done at many of the farms in and around Oudtshoorn, and will be an experience to remember.

About The Karoo in South Africa